Prosecution, defense both rest in trial of Amish beard-cutting cult

Samuel Mullet Defense lawyers in the hate crimes trial of Amish bishop Samuel Mullet and 15 of his followers rested their case Tuesday without calling a single witness.

Each of the 16 defendant faces five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy, but hate crime charges could spell a life sentence. [Read more...]

Sex ‘counseling’ info allowed at trial of Amish cult leader

Samuel Mullet Federal prosecutors will be allowed to question witnesses about Amish leader Sam Mullet’s sexual activities when the hate-crime trial of Mullet and 15 followers begins next week, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The judge forbid prosecutors from describing his group with words such cult, sect, clan, band, schism, faction, off-shoot, breakaway, renegade, rogue or splinter group. Witnesses, however, can use any terms they choose. [Read more...]

Prosecutors say jury should hear Amish leader’s sexual activities with his followers

Samuel Mullet Jurors should be allowed to hear about alleged sexual “counseling” of Amish wives by a man charged with masterminding beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio, prosecutors told a federal judge Friday.

Former members of the group say Sam Mullet has been “counseling” married women in his clan, taking them into his home “so that he may cleanse them of the devil with acts of sexual intimacy.” [Read more...]

Amish charged in hair-cutting attacks seek to avoid oaths, cult label

Bergholz Clan Members of a fringe Amish group charged with committing hate crimes against fellow Amish have requested words including “cult,” “splinter” and “rogue” be banned from their upcoming trial in U.S. District Court.

They also requested that any Amish called to testify “affirm the truthfulness” of their testimony rather than swear an oath. [Read more...]

Renegade Amish sect members reject beard-cutting plea deals

Bergholz Clan Sixteen people charged in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio rejected government plea bargain offers of leniency Monday and will go to trial.

The U.S. Justice Department says it plans to introduce evidence at the trial of Amish sect leader Sam Mullet to prove he had total authority over his Ohio community, including disciplining its members with beatings and having sex with other men’s wives to “counsel” them. [Read more...]

Federal judge supports hate crime charges against Amish sect leader

Bergholz Clan A federal judge has rejected a challenge of the federal hate crimes law by Amish sect leader Sam Mullet and 15 followers charged with beard- and hair-cutting assaults in Ohio Amish country last year..

The judge ruled the indictment does not violate the U.S. Constitution. [Read more...]